WEDNESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News)-- A new study finds that
older people with moderate chronic kidney disease are more likely
than others their age to develop hearing loss.
Australian researchers reached their conclusions after studying
more than 2,900 people aged 50 and older, of whom 513 had moderate
kidney disease. Of those, 54 percent reported having hearing loss,
while only 28 percent of the others did. Tests showed that 30
percent of patients with chronic kidney disease had severe hearing
loss, while just 10 percent of the others did.
The research suggests that there's a strong connection between
chronic kidney disease and hearing loss, study author Dr. David
Harris, associate dean of Sydney Medical School-Westmead at the
University of Sydney, said in a news release from the National
"The link can be explained by structural and functional similarities between tissues in the inner ear and in the kidney," Harris said.
"Additionally, toxins that accumulate in kidney failure can damage nerves, including those in the inner ear. Another reason for this connection is that kidney disease and hearing loss share common risk factors, including diabetes, high blood pressure and advanced age."
Dr. Kerry Willis, a senior vice president at the National Kidney
Foundation, said in the same news release that the findings could
lead to changes in how physicians take care of people with chronic
kidney disease. Earlier hearing tests and fitting of hearing aids
could help "improve quality of life and lead to better management
of underlying conditions which could, in turn, potentially preserve
The study appears in the Oct. 1 issue of the
American Journal of Kidney Diseases.
For more on kidney diseases, try the
U.S. National Library of Medicine.